HIV Vaccine


After South Africa, India is reported to have world's second largest HIV population. The country has over 5.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS and the number is expected to quadruple by 2010. The virus is spreading into families, infecting mothers and children. Most alarming trend is the spread of the disease to villages, with rural India accounting for 59% of infections compared with 41% in cities. Human trials of vaccines against different strains of the virus are already being conducted in the United States, Europe, Africa and South America. The Indian trial will focus on sub-type C of the virus, the most common in the country. "It will be the first test in India of a HIV vaccine on humans," said Ramesh Paranjape, a deputy director of the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) based in Pune, around 100 miles south of Bombay.

The first phase of the testing of the vaccine, named Adeno Associated Virus based HIV sub-type C, will be conducted on 30 volunteers. Scientists of National AIDS Research Institute will monitor the volunteers over a period of one year to test for side effects etc. A good, safe vaccine will help preventive efforts considerably.


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